As we’ve said before, 2016 is definitely shaping to be a big year for video. With the world going digital, many of us need to edit big amounts of video – sometimes on a daily basis. To be able to do that properly, you need to find the best computer for video editing, depending on your needs and preferences. Therefore, voilà – check out the guide we’ve put together to help you out, just because we’re nice people.
So, which computer specs for video editing are important and need to be considered before you invest your money in the right computer?
On the hunt for the best computer for video editing
To put this simply: you can never have enough processor power. Video is very processor intensive, especially if it’s HD or 4K. Known as the computer’s engine, the Central Processing Units (CPU) perform even better if combined with a large amount of memory. Those video editing tasks won’t know what hit them! Processors have evolved from a single core Intel Pentium to the current multi-core Intel i3, i5 and i7 models. The recommended best CPU for video editing is either the i5 or i7 processor (quad-core), since the difference will be notable if you get anything lower.
This choice depends a lot on how much you’re willing to spend. The cheaper motherboards belong to AMD, however you should know that many of them only support a few processors with low thermal design power, which means they won’t do well when you’re trying to do some serious video editing. What you should look for in a motherboard is enough hard drive SATA connectors, USB ports, and, depending on your needs – Firewire connections. Also, you’ll definitely want a Z97 chipset board – besides that, the differences are in size, ports and expansion slots. Our advice is to go with an ATX motherboard, just make sure it’s compatible with the processor you get.
- Memory (RAM)
As you might have guessed, before buying your memory, you need to make sure it’s compatible with the motherboard you went for – most of them support a maximum of 32GB total system memory. Also, it’s important to know that even the best processor won’t do you much good if you don’t back it up with enough memory, especially for video editing. We say: get yourself 16GB, as going higher may be a bit of an overkill. The Corsair Vengeance RED 16GB 1866 and the Patriot Viper 3 16GB – 1866 are both great choices. Keep in mind that higher frequencies matter a lot in putting together the best computer for video editing.
Computers have two kinds of storage — temporary and permanent. The RAM is used for temporary storage, while the hard drive is used for permanent storage. Memory is like your desk’s work space and your hard drive is like a filling cabinet. If you will be editing HD content without a huge number of tracks, then the best hard drive for video editing would be a high-performance 3.5″ drive. The 4TB Western Digital Caviar Black and the 3TB Seagate Barracuda both come highly recommended. Don’t underestimate your storage space, as it’s a crucial part of putting together a good computer for video editing.
- Graphics card
Your choice of a video editing graphics card depends heavily on what software you’re using and what type of videos you’re editing. For 1080p editing, for example, integrated graphics or entry level graphics like the Geforce GT 720 or 730 is plenty adequate. For 4k editing, something more powerful like a GTX 750ti or a GTX 960 will do the job. Another great performer is the 6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, but that’s only if you want the best and are not afraid to spend some money.
A good visual workspace is essential if you’re a video editor. Modern graphics cards offer dual-display and greater capabilities, which means you can have one display at the same time with an extended desktop. The few 30-inch monitors that offer a 4K resolution are IPS or VA models and cost around $1600. We’d recommend an IPS, mostly for two reasons: accurate color reproduction, and wide viewing angles. The best choice, especially if you’re on a budget, would be the Dell UltraSharp 2412HM, although the Asus PA246Q is a mighty competitor.
All in all, the best thing you can do is to look at recommended system requirements for the software you are going to use and see if a minimum graphics card or minimum video RAM are required. That will help you a lot in choosing the best laptop for video editing.
PC vs Mac: the eternal dilemma
You’ve probably heard people arguing about this more times than you can remember – and so have we. The fact is, that if you want a video editing laptop, you need one with sufficient compute power for the task, which means you can get either a Mac or a PC, and both would do a great job. Just like the best video card for video editing depends greatly on the software, your computer choices depends mostly on your software preference. However, it’s a fact that a video editing PC is a lot less expensive, easier to find parts and service for, and have more software available that is usually less expensive. With that in mind, a clear winner on the Mac side is the Mac Pro, even though it lacks onboard storage space. As MAC users, we can definitely recommend the Mac Pro as the best computer for video editing and multimedia. If you want a PC, then you should take a look at the ASUS ZenBook Pro UHD, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K-053 and the Dell Inspiron i755, all with the capabilities to handle some hardcore video editing.
If you’re just starting your career as a video editor and still need some helps editing your videos, don’t worry – this is what Valoso is here for – just upload your videos and photos and our editors will take care of your editing needs.